How to Thrive from Criticism

Let’s face it, receiving criticism can be stressful and deflating to your confidence depending on how it’s delivered, but more importantly, how you interpret it. See that’s the key right there. With anything that can potentially affect us, it’s our interpretation of information that can either make or break us. If we can learn to open up to critique, we can improve.

Join me for this episode of Curves Welcome to explore ways you can thrive through criticism.

Listen here.

Transcript for Today’s Show

Please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect.

hey thanks for joining me today for this episode of curves welcome a podcast about facing and embracing the curves of life if this is your first time tuning in this is Susie Carr the other day I was thumbing through a magazine and read an interesting article about rejection the magazine is published by Toastmasters International a communication and leadership organization that helps develop critical professional skills in the area of public speaking and management one of the things that happens when you give a speech at a Toastmasters event is you are evaluated on your speech someone offers a critical assessment for the sole purpose of helping you improve without that assessment you could end up making the same mistakes not even realizing the areas of improvement you could be working toward and losing out on a great opportunity to hone in on that area of your life but let’s face it receiving criticism can be stressful and deflating to your confidence depending on how it’s delivered but more importantly how you interpret it see that’s the key right there with anything that can potentially affect us it’s our interpretation of information that can either make or break us if we can learn to open up to critique we can improve as a writer it’s pretty darn important to stay open to critique in the beginning when I first shared my words with a trusted friend I wanted nothing but praise I had spent the past two three years writing a book and would have been crushed had she offered anything less than positive feedback well I lost out on a great chance to improve that body of words I sent it out to every potential publisher who published lesbian letter and it was rejected by every single one of them not surprising at all now that I’ve sandwiched 15 years of learning in between then and now that first draft was a ginormous disaster I didn’t know how to write a novel let alone have it read perfectly by the first person to ever land eyes on it it doesn’t work that way at least not for me when I finally accepted that my beloved novel needed work I saw it too critical feedback and a few did I get it it took some serious emotional bracing to open up to it and I’ll tell you it was the absolute best thing I ever did for myself today I seek critical readers to Bay to read my first drafts I tell them straight out do not pat me on the back to soften the delivery I want tough love at that point their critique it’s not personal its professional and its business if I want people to pay money in exchange for my story then I better put on a business mindset lens and grow some thick skin believe me when I tell you I’ve cried over many negative reviews feeling the sting from each one as if it were a rusty sword cutting through my skin and piercing my heart as dramatic as that is it’s the truth ask most any writer who views her work with any kind of heart and they’ll tell you it’s true but they’ll also tell you they had to get over themselves and their beloved grip on their work if they ever wanted to improve their craft just like any writer we are all in a state of progression and whether that is a positive or negative progression is completely up to whether we are willing to open up to learning from our mistakes learning from others doing a better job and accepting that we are nowhere near perfect nor will we ever be so for me criticism it is with my last two books the pet boutique and my upcoming novel uprooting I sought out someone to poke holes in the stories I found someone who is negatively criticized my work in the past validly I will add and asked for the nitty gritty critique I at this point in my career desperately crave hands down that was the best professional decision I’ve ever made tear my manuscript apart did they ever did it hurt did I cringe did I bend over in a wince while combing through the endless comments on how I had failed to build the story up to its potential of course I’m human and still have a special bond between me and my words but just like with physical exercise I realize I must be willing to move beyond the comfort of a stretch or the comfort of a strenuous set of deadlifts before any progress is made before the muscles define themselves before the vitality comes into being it takes time to massage a story into being it takes objectivity to see the loopholes often glossed over by ideals it takes courage to ask for a deep analysis of your actions in order to improve the results of them that’s what makes it such a powerful tool in your personal development toolkit you must be willing to ask the tough questions and have others ask you the tough questions to unearth that which is an apparent on the surface the only way to grow the kind of deep roots that you need to sustain the ever present critical demands of life is to dig up your old ways of viewing criticism and toss them aside so you can plant new ones so we’ve established the power of criticism but what if you don’t yet have the thick skin to be able to accept it without being crushed how can you develop it over time so that you can benefit from good honest feedback and the growth that it provides my suggestion to develop thicker skin is pretty simple in concept difficult in application if you tend to be a sensitive person who reacts instead of reflex bottom line if you want to benefit from criticism you must learn to take the emotions off the table as a writer who publishes her work publicly I have to accept that there will be criticism from people with good intentions and bad intentions weeding through the two can be difficult and that might be a whole different episode but for today let’s focus on feedback that comes from a good place the kind that can help you grow I used to read reviews and want to crawl under my blankets and never come out then I realized quickly that was counterintuitive to living a life of purpose and passion so I put on my big-girl pants and decided on a new approach whenever I come across a negative review I now read it then close out of it I don’t react respond or let it crush me I simply go about a new activity to refocus on something more positive the next day or two or however long it takes to cool the emotions I reread it with the intention of finding validity in it I seek out one point that can teach me a lesson when I do this my brain shifts from victim pity me mode to student seeking knowledge it’s amazing how much more open you become when you can make this shift in mindset no matter what the source that is being criticized if you can get yourself to seek a valuable point you will develop an amazing ability to view criticism with an open mind and grow from it so if there’s an area in your life where you want to grow and learn seek feedback from sources that will help encourage you to dig deeper and find your nugget that’ll set you on a better path toward growth welcome criticism as a friend and it will show up as your friend the next time you receive criticism stop and reflect as a student of the universe be open to what the universe is trying to teach you so that you can bring your best you to this world hey friends thanks for spending time with me today I hope you enjoyed today’s topic if there is something you’d enjoy exploring in a future podcast please reach out to me via my website at curves welcome calm and I’ll work it in while you’re there grab a free story – it’s my way of thanking you for your support of my podcast and romance novels I also want to take a moment to thank all who have become patrons on my patreon page your support means a great deal to me for more information on joining me on this journey in gaining access to special rewards visit the link in the show notes also be sure to follow TLT podcasts to keep up on the latest episodes so thanks for tuning in until next time go out there and continue to learn grow and embrace life’s curves